A British man has been accused of plotting a widespread terrorist act in perceived revenge for being marginalised by society as a white, ginger-haired man.
Mark Colbourne, 37, has appeared at the Old Bailey charged with preparation for terrorist acts following the discovery of ingredients which could be used in a cyanide attack, including those used to concoct a chemical which helps poisons to be absorbed through the skin. According to the Times, it is alleged that he planned to use small spray bottles to disperse the chemicals in a crowded area.
Annabel Darlow, QC, for the prosecution, said of Mr Colbourne: “He clearly had a troubled childhood and perceived himself as marginalised and belittled by society because he was a white, ginger-haired male.”
She told the court that he lived with his mother and half brother, and suffered from depression and agoraphobia. Also that he had fantasies of carrying out an attack on the scale of those perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in a bomb attack in America in 1995, and Anders Breivik, who killed 77, including a number of teenagers, in Norway in 2011.
The court was informed that Mr Colbourne had written in a notebook: “I’m looking for major retribution, a mass terrorist attack which will bring to the attention our pain not just mine but my brothers around the world.”
In another note he wrote “I will put a major dent in England, one that is felt around the world, if for some reason I cannot perform a major operation then I will still opt for low-level attacks.”
“I believe a lot about inflicting pain in a struggle because it makes people remember, the deaths on people is the sacrifice that cannot be avoided in a struggle,” read another passage.
And writing of his admiration for Breivik, Mr Colbourne noted “The terror attack in Norway was what I was planning to do in England. It was poetic and brilliant . . . he worked alone and below the radar.”
To aid him in his attack, Mr Colbourne had stockpiled a number of items including dust masks, funnels, syringes and latex gloves, along with the chemicals and spray bottles. His plans were foiled when his half-brother found the items in his cluttered bedroom in their Southampton home last June, and alerted the police.
When officers arrived, they found the items and the notebooks detailing his thoughts, along with a copy of The Terrorists Handbook, a step by step guide to making 22 poisons, and computer files which included a swastika and notes on “butchering human carcass for human consumption”.
Ms Darlow told the court that Mr Colbourne had questioned whether he was supposed to tell his mental health support worker “that I am thinking of killing a large proportion of the population or I am killing for revenge”.
Mr Colbourne denies allegations of preparation of terrorist acts, including possession of chemicals to be used in an attack, and of the possession of terrorist information.
The case continues.